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Russia’s Urals Crude Price Drops but It’s Still Above the $60 Cap

The average price of Russia’s flagship crude grade, Urals, dropped in November from October but was still way above the Western price cap of $60 per barrel, data from Russia’s Finance Ministry showed on Friday.

The average price of the Urals grade was $72.84 per barrel last month, down from $81.52 a barrel in October, but higher than the $66.47 average price in November 2022, according to the data.

Despite the slide in the price of Urals in November 2023 compared to the previous month, the average price is still nearly $13 per barrel above the price cap of $60 a barrel set by the G7 and the EU if Russian crude sold to third countries uses Western insurance and shipping.

To compare, the price of North Sea Dated Brent averaged $83.12 per barrel last month, the Russian ministry’s data showed.

Between January and November, the price of Urals also averaged above the price cap and was $62.89 per barrel, down from an average of $78.32 in the same period of 2022.

Urals has been trading above the price cap since the summer, and reports have emerged that the West is considering toughening up the sanction enforcement on evaders of the price cap on Russian oil, almost none of which now trades below the ceiling of $60 per barrel. 

Despite the Urals prices holding above the price cap, Russia’s largest oil and gas exporters saw their total revenues plunge by 41% between January and September compared to the same period last year, due to lower commodity prices and lower exports, Russia’s central bank said in a financial stability review on Thursday.  

Over the first nine months of the year, the share of Chinese yuan in payments for Russia’s oil and gas exports jumped from 13% in January to 35% in September. The share of the exports in Russian rubles remains significant – at 39% in September 2023, the Bank of Russia said.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 01 2023 said:
    It isn’t surprising that Russian Urals crude is selling at far higher price than the Western price cap.

    This is so because Russian oil companies can’t by law sell any Russian crudes at or below the price cap and also because the cap has been dead and buried for a while.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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